from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A short aria that has a repetitive rhythm and a simple style.
- n. The final section of an aria or duet marked by a quick uniform rhythm.
- n. Something likened to such a short aria or a final section of a piece: "And a chronic chorus of cascades and birds/Cuts loose in a wild cabaletta” ( W.H. Auden).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A short, rhythmically repetitive aria.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A song in rondo form, with variations, often having an accompaniment in triplet rhythm, intended to imitate the footfalls of a cantering horse.
Her observations about art are generally trite and when she does say something more specific, such as "an aria without a cabaletta is like sex without an orgasm", one is more stunned by the apercu's vulgarity than its accuracy.
Our natural instinct is to analyze that as a homologous variation — Joplin must have got it from somewhere, perhaps the cavatina-cabaletta sequence of Italian opera, or perhaps Rossini overtures, or perhaps similarly obsessive passages in Chopin or Schumann.
It's the prime masterpiece of the period where Verdi went from a talented master of the Italian operatic tradition to a genius of reinvention: Verdi saw that the conventions of bel canto — the coloratura decoration, the steady build from recitative to cavatina to cabaletta, the diagetic justification for dance and popular music — had matured to the point that their mere presence could have dramatic content above and beyond the story.
Dr. Kissinger apparently doesn't appreciate the considerably rousing power of the traditional cantilena-cabaletta sequence of Italian opera.
She sang the cabaletta "Di tale amor" with good trills and clean runs, though at a moderate tempo.
Madame Viardot-Garcia, finding the phrase of the cabaletta in the aria
Is there no cabaletta to it -- not even a full close?
The invention of the cabaletta, or quick movement, following the cavatina or slow movement, must be ascribed to him, an innovation which has affected the form of opera, German and French, as well as Italian, throughout this century.
Here alone he adheres to the old tradition of cavatina and cabaletta -- the slow movement followed by the quick.
Verdi had become uneasy in the fetters of the cavatina-cabaletta tradition -- the slow movement followed by the quick -- which, since the day of Rossini, had ruled Italian opera with a rod of iron.